Ted Lasso star says playing Rebecca brought 'catharsis' for real-life 'verbally abusive relationship'
Emmy nominee Hannah Waddingham talks to EW's The Awardist podcast about her role as AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton on Ted Lasso.
At first glance, Ted Lasso's Rebecca Welton — the successful new owner AFC Richmond, a premiere U.K. football team — is aloof, confident, and, as her future best friend Keeley (Juno Temple) says, "an intimidating, very tall woman."
But as season 1 unfolds, we learn that underneath her poised façade, Rebecca — brought to exquisite life by Emmy nominee Hannah Waddingham — is still reeling from her marriage to AFC Richmond's former owner, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), who really did a number on her self-esteem.
In this week's episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, Waddingham explains why that part of Rebecca's story line hits so close to home.
"The greatest thing about this job is that it has allowed me great catharsis from a controlling, verbally abusive relationship that I'd had [in real life], that people looking at me wouldn't think that I'd experienced," she says. "So when it got to those scenes in the gala, when [Rupert] is saying, 'Very brave choice' with the dress, I've had that in the past. And also the bit outside the gala when Ted comes to find her... There's the bit about '[Rupert said], 'Eat this, wear that, and I listened,' that monologue that Jason was tweaking up until the last minute, informed me more than anything else about where I needed to take Rebecca."
To hear more from Waddingham — including about her "minimal foray into being a pop star" with this chart-making ballad from 2000 — listen to the episode below. (The interview begins at around the 14-minute mark.)